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The young dancer.

George Balanchine Noun 1. George Balanchine - United States dancer and choreographer (born in Russia) noted for his abstract and formal works (1904-1983)
 was trained and began performing in St. Petersburg, and extended the technique he learned as part of his Russian nineteenth-century heritage, reshaping the look of classical ballet Noun 1. classical ballet - a style of ballet based on precise conventional steps performed with graceful and flowing movements
ballet, concert dance - a theatrical representation of a story that is performed to music by trained dancers
 in his dancers.

Mr. B Mr. B may refer to:
  • Billy Eckstine, a jazz bandleader and balladeer
  • , a villain in the cartoon Codename: Kids Next Door
  • Mr. B, a character in the literacy program The Letter People
  • Mr. B. (Mark Braun), a boogie-woogie piano player
  • Mr.
 come to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  in 1933 at the invitation of Lincoln Kirstein Lincoln Edward Kirstein (May 4, 1907 - January 5, 1996) was an American writer, impresario, art connoisseur, and cultural figure in New York City, famous less for his own artistic achievement than for his social influence. . Together, they founded the School of American Ballet The School of American Ballet is located in New York City, in Lincoln Center. It is considered one of the most prestigious and notable ballet schools in the United States and teaches some of the most talented young dancers in the country.  (SAB), which Balanchine saw as the foundation on which to build a ballet company Noun 1. ballet company - a company that produces ballets
troupe, company - organization of performers and associated personnel (especially theatrical); "the traveling company all stayed at the same hotel"
. Their goal was an American school and company, rather than a Russian transplant, a goal that has been realized; over the last four decades, SAB and New York City Ballet New York City Ballet, one of the foremost American dance companies of the 20th cent. It was founded by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine as the Ballet Society in 1946.  (NYCB NYCB New York City Ballet
NYCB New York Community Bank
) have become firmly established. In addition, the directors of many companies and schools, many teachers and ballet masters are alumni of the School or the company.

Most of the teachers currently at SAB were hired by Mr. B. We come from diverse backgrounds (Russian, Danish, American) but we work to convey his aesthetic. Using Petipa as a starting point Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo

commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the
, Mr. B broadened the classical vocabulary and expanded dancers' awareness of the movement possibilities in that vocabulary. He constantly strove to help us achieve greater clarity, articulation, and radiance--all qualities still stressed at the school.

Classes at SAB demand maximum effort and concentration as students develop and use the high energy level required by the Balanchine oesthetic. "Relax is for the grave" was one way he put it. At the same time, teachers try to convey in their classes the joy of dance and of life. We also make the students aware of the entire body and help them achieve complete control of it. They acquire a clear understanding of the vertical division of their bodies, and an acute awareness of front, back, and side. When they point front or back, their toes are on the center line of the body, not opposite the working hip. Our students keep their weight on the balls of their feet, not their heels, so they can instantly move in any direction. They learn to work in the extremes: maximum turnout, high extensions, big lumps, juicy and large plies plies 1  
Third person singular present tense of ply1.

Plural of ply1.
, at great speed and in slow motion. They master clean, precise positions and articulate footwork and epaulement. Their ports de bras are freer, using elbows, wrists, and fingers. We encourage them to move bigger, with the whole body bending instead of being held stiff and straight.

"See the music, hear the dancing" was another of Mr. B's favorite expressions. Musicality and distinct phrasing are integral to everything we do in class. Females in advanced classes are required to wear pointe shoes 'Pointe shoes', also referred to as toe shoes, are a special type of shoe used by ballet dancers for pointework. They developed from the desire to appear weightless, and sylph- like onstage and have evolved to allow extended periods of movement on the tips of the toes , so that dancing in pointe shoes becomes second nature. Barre work is made up of simple, straightforward combinations repeated many times. It is not rigidly codified cod·i·fy  
tr.v. cod·i·fied, cod·i·fy·ing, cod·i·fies
1. To reduce to a code: codify laws.

2. To arrange or systematize.
 or elaborately choreographed, and there is no tilting.

Since Mr. B's ballets are still danced internationally, dancers trying to achieve his goals can be found in classrooms and studios and on stages all over the world. If you would like to see this technique demonstrated for yourself, the first tape in a new series which I made with Merrill Ashley, The Balanchine Essays, was released in May from Nonesuch none·such also non·such  
1. A person or thing without equal.

2. See black medic.

. More tapes will be released in the future.

Suki Schorer danced with NYCB for twelve years, retiring as a principal in 1972, and has taught full-time at the School of American Ballet since then.

The Cecchetti Style

by Raymond Lukens

Simplicity is the most appropriate word to describe the style of a dancer correctly trained in the method of the great Italian maestro, Enrico Cecchetti Enrico Cecchetti ( 21 June 1850, Rome — 13 November 1928, Milan) was an Italian ballet dancer, founder of the Cecchetti method. The son of two dancers, he was born in the costuming room of the Teatro Tordinonia in Rome.  (1850-1928). Cecchetti had been a virtuoso dancer and extraordinary mime before becoming the greatest internationally recognized pedagogue of his time. His method is still taught today throughout the world, mostly by teachers qualified by one of the societies founded in his name.

The technical and aesthetic principles that lie at the base of Cecchetti work give the dancer purity of line, coordination, speed, stability, breadth, flow and harmony of movement.

Centering and transferring the weight, the use of the knees, hips, ankles, and metatarsal metatarsal /meta·tar·sal/ (met?ah-tahr´sal)
1. pertaining to the metatarsus.

2. a bone of the metatarsus.

Of or relating to the metatarsus.
 arch are among the technical principles explored here. To center the weight the dancer should be well grounded with the feet solidly placed on the floor, the spine stretched and the head poised, allowing the weight to fall into the ground, freeing the body from unnecessary tension. From this placement, transferring of weight flows organically from the use of the weight of the head and body, the use of the floor during chasses, glissades, jetes, and other steps. It gives the dancer the base from which to move naturally and with ease. Examples of these principles are evident in passages from Jardin aux Lilas, choreographed Antony Tudor Noun 1. Antony Tudor - United States dancer and choreographer (born in England) (1909-1987)
, who was a product of Cecchetti training.

The way the knees, hips, ankles and metatarsal arch are involved determines the quality of a jump. For long, high, sweeping jumps, the knees and hips come more into play; in terre a terre allegro and pointe work, the concentration is more on the lower part of the legs.

Cecchetti work covers all aspects of dynamics, quality and muscular involvement, giving the dancer the technical expertise to execute both swift, crystalline footwork and big, virtuoso leaps,

A prime example of c successful Cecchetti-trained dancer is Royal Ballet's Darcey Bussell Darcey Bussell CBE (born London; 27 April 1969) is a retired English ballerina. Biography
She was a pupil at Fox Primary School. After studying at the Arts Educational School, Bussell began ballet seriously only at the age of 13 when she moved to White Lodge in the Royal
, who has said that the Cecchetti work has given her strength, discipline, and coordination, and that after she joined the Royal she became acutely aware of how lucky she was to have had Cecchetti training.

The aesthetic principles in Cecchetti training are typified in the port de bras port de bras  
The technique or practice of positioning and moving the arms in ballet.
. To correctly execute port de bras the dancer needs to have a deep understanding of how the head and arm movements organically grow out of the use of the spine and shoulder girdle shoulder girdle
The pectoral girdle, especially of a human.

The great British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton Noun 1. Sir Frederick Ashton - British choreographer (1906-1988)
 wrote (in a personal letter to eminent scholar Richard Glasstone), "If I had my way, I would always insist that all dancers should daily do the wonderful port de bras, especially beginners. It inculcates a wonderful feeling for line and correct positioning and use of head movements and epaulement which, if correctly absorbed, will be of incalculable in·cal·cu·la·ble  
a. Impossible to calculate: a mass of incalculable figures.

b. Too great to be calculated or reckoned: incalculable wealth.
 use throughout a dancer's career."

The Cecchetti aesthetic also deals with movement, passing through c ear shapes while following strict rules of anatomy and balance of line. These rules were established by the Florentine Renaissance artists and refined by the great dance masters as ballet developed from court spectacle into professional theatrical dancing. Line in Cecchetti work refers not only to the forming of shapes in space, but also to lines of movement which connect those shapes. Clarity of shape comes from coordinated, uncluttered movement. Bruce Sansom, one of Royal Ballet's leading dancers, has related that Ashton wanted his dancers to show every position clearly, but to continue moving.

The simplicity of style in the Cecchetti dancer is a natural consequence of the fact that the method is based on universal principles that transcend the specific stylistic boundaries of romantic, classical, neoclassical ne·o·clas·si·cism also Ne·o·clas·si·cism  
A revival of classical aesthetics and forms, especially:
a. A revival in literature in the late 17th and 18th centuries, characterized by a regard for the classical ideals of reason, form,
 and even contemporary ballet Contemporary ballet is a form of dance influenced by both classical ballet and modern dance. It takes its technique and use of pointework from classical ballet, although it permits a greater range of movement that may not adhere to the strict body lines set forth by schools of . In an article in the British magazine Dancing Times, Ashton wrote: "A sound training, such as one receives through the method of Maestro Cecchetti, embodying as it does a complete and pure theory of movements, awakens within the dancer a response to any style he may be called upon to interpret--and this is surely the ultimate artist."

With Franco De Vito, Raymond Lukens founded the Italian Cecchetti Society. He teaches regularly in Florence, Italy, and is Ballet Master of the Hartford Ballet.

Royal Academy of Dance The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) was established in 1920 by a group of professional dance artists brought together by Philip Richardson, editor of the Dancing Times and including:
  • Adeline Genée - Denmark
  • Tamara Karsavina - Russia
  • Lucia Cormani - Italy

by Delia Foley Diggles

The Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) was founded in 1920 in England by four distinguished ballet teachers: Adeline Genee, Tamora Karsavina, Phyllis Bedells and Edouard Espinosa. Brought together by Philip Richardson Sir Philip Wigham Richardson, 1st Baronet (January 26, 1865 - November 23, 1953) was a British sport shooter and Conservative politician.

Richardson competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics and 1912 Summer Olympics.
, founder and chief editor of the British magazine Dancing Times, their aim was to improve the standard of the study and art of ballet. The school was granted a Royal Charter in 1936.

Over the years the academy has trained thousands of dancers, many of whom have gone on to become professional performers. The Academy today provides teaching and examining in more than fifty-seven countries and its syllabi syl·la·bi  
A plural of syllabus.
 are used worldwide.

Designed for children ages seven to eleven, the Royal Academy of Dancing children's syllabus provides a framework for highly structured training that emphasizes both artistry and discipline. The training aims to give children a sound and basic understanding of their bodies as it pertains to executing classical technique.

The first factor that differentiates RAD training from other methods is the teaching of unforced turnout. This gradual development, strengthening, and controlling of the turnout is based on the individual's aptitude. The goal is to produce a technical skill that greatly reduces the chance of injury, because it is developed during the important growing years.

The RAD method of training considers the dynamic structural integrity of the entire body, from the feet through the pelvis and upward through the spinal column spinal column, bony column forming the main structural support of the skeleton of humans and other vertebrates, also known as the vertebral column or backbone. It consists of segments known as vertebrae linked by intervertebral disks and held together by ligaments. . Technique is tailored to the individual's body. Children ore taught a technique that recognizes their own physical abilities and limitations. They are also encouraged to enjoy dancing through free movement in contemporary and other styles as well as several different kinds of character dancing. This helps the young dancer to see the importance of other styles of dance and how they are incorporated into dance performances.

RAD training continues with the major syllabus, which stresses correct alignment of the pelvic and spinal areas, increased use of the inner thigh, clarity of footwork, and fluid line, particularly in the port de bras and arabesque arabesque (ărəbĕsk`) [Fr.,=Arabian], in art, term applied to any complex, linear decoration based on flowing lines. In Islamic art it was often exploited to cover entire surfaces. . Students are taught to tailor extensions to their body type. Musical dynamics and phrasing are also taught, as is projection and presentation.

RAD's training in romantic, classical, neoclassical and contemporary styles is rigorous, but never sacrifices the dancer's individuality. RAD recognizes the importance of the projection of inner feelings, and that this is often what elevates a dancer from proficient technician to luminous star.

Delia Foley Diggles is an examiner for the Royal Academy of Dancing and artistic director of the Mohawk Valley Performing Arts Company The award-winning Performing Arts Company is a small theatre group based in Hedge End for young people, and is shortly to be doing a performance of Aladdin at the Eastpoint Centre. .

The Russian Method of Classical Ballet

By Jurgen Schneider

The Russian Method of classical ballet has a rich history embedded in czarist Russia. This method is an integration of the Danish, French and Italian Schools, further developed by Nicolai Legat in Russia. During the early Soviet times, Agrippina Vaganova, at the Leningrad Choreographic School, began to develop and codify codify to arrange and label a system of laws.  these existing elements into what is sometimes referred to as the Vaganova Method. This is a misnomer misnomer n. the wrong name.

MISNOMER. The act of using a wrong name.
     2. Misnomers, may be considered with regard to contracts, to devises and bequests, and to suits or actions.
 since it ignores other great master teachers of the Moscow School such as Nicolai Tarasov and Elizavetta Gerht who also added elements to what is known today as the Russian School.

The Russian Method, an eight-year program, uses French terminology in which steps are explained from their simplest form, for beginning level students, through the more complicated intermediate level form, to the most advanced and most complex forms. A numerical floor plan or diagram helps the students to orient themselves in space and to master poses, known as epaulement, in different angles and directions, which is important for the free interpretation of the material for the stage.

Emphasis is given to the training of the upper body and to the expressivity expressivity /ex·pres·siv·i·ty/ (eks?pres-siv´i-te) in genetics, the extent to which an inherited trait is manifested by an individual.  of the arms while developing the flexibility and strength of the legs. Exercises are introduced in a progression which helps the students to understand the character of each step. In essence, the entire body is trained in coordinated fashion from the fingertips "Fingertips" is a 1963 number-one hit single recorded live by "Little" Stevie Wonder for Motown's Tamla label. Wonder's first hit single, "Fingertips" was the first live, non-studio recording to reach number-one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the United States.  to the toes. Teachers introduce original combinations with improvisational accompaniment, rather than teaching set, codified exercises to familiar classical music repertoire.

Students a re accepted for training on the basis of their potential physical aptitude for dance, and are trained daily, learning at a very early age softness, expressivity, and fluidity of movement. This is accomplished through the use of the upper body, the study of poses and the six codified port de bras, The port de bras are taught in a logically coordinated and harmonious manner, from the simple to the more complicated forms. Later, in coordination with the head movements, the port de bras are included in more complex exercises allowing the dancers to freely and independently express themselves. In the study of poses it is stressed that each has its own expression which must remain consistent throughout the more difficult studies of adagio a·da·gio  
adv. & adj. Music
In a slow tempo, usually considered to be slower than andante but faster than larghetto. Used chiefly as a direction.

n. pl. a·da·gios
, tours, and allegro work.

Musicality is important in the students' development. Pianists are trained to understand how to express the character of each movement. They help form the fully developed artist; it is constantly emphasized that classical ballet is rooted in the expression of movement to music. The students Study music beginning at an early age, continuing through the end of their schooling.

Another aspect of the Russian schooling is the study of the rich heritage found in the folkloric dances of the former Soviet republics and other countries, known as character dance. Historical Dance is studied in the elementary years and the final year, helping students develop poise and grace. In the final three years the study of partnering or pas de deux pas de deux

(French; “step for two”)

Dance for two performers. A characteristic part of classical ballet, it includes an adagio, or slow dance, by the ballerina and her partner; solo variations by the male dancer and then the ballerina; and a coda, or
 work is thoroughly covered.

The Russian system is not a dogma. Every generation has left its influence on the program; it is constantly evolving through reevaluation in light of developing ballet repertoire.

All certified teachers of the Russian Method are schooled in this system. They pursue further studies of the methodolgy enabling them to understand not only the physical and artistic aspects of the crt form, but also the psychological development of the students into artists. Because of constant reevaluation the system continues to provide a united style to prepare future generations of students and teachers alike while continuing to develop a living, breathing syllabus.

Jurgen Schneider trained as a Ballet Master-Pedagogue in Moscow and St. Petersberg, and continues to serve in that capacity in major companies.

Bournonville Technique

by Alexandra Tomalonis

The spirit behind the dance. Bournonville wanted to produce a balanced technique with no one aspect being emphasized of the expense of another. He believed that "the secret of true art is to conceal its technical aspects and its physical Strains under a cover of harmonious calm," as he wrote in his Choreographic Studies. Bournonville choreographed for the whole body; the visual relationship among head, shoulders, torso, arms and legs was of paramount importance. In the Bournonville technique, each step has prescribed arm positions, and his epaulement places the head and shoulders in graceful opposition to the rest of the body. Although he was a virtuoso dancer and the Danes have produced many great virtuosi, virtuosity for its own sake was never Bournonville's point.

The technique is embodied in six classes which are known today as the Bournonville Schools. They were recorded by a Danish ballet master, Hans Beck, two decades after Bournonville's death in 1 879. Beck wrote down combinations, and sometimes whole variations, as a way of maintaining a technical standard for the Royal Danish Ballet Royal Danish Ballet, one of the oldest major ballet companies, established at the opening of Denmark's Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1748. The company was developed over the centuries by three great masters.  in the absence of a ballet master. The schools are named for each of the days of the dancing week, and ballet children danced these classes exclusively--repeating them until they mastered them--until the last purely Bournonville teacher, Karl Merrild, retired in 1949. For many years there was only one class for all children (ages six to sixteen), and the smallest ones stood in the back row, copying those in front, until they moved up to the front of the class--or gave up. The method, which may seem primitive by today's standards, produced an astounding a·stound  
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.

[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen,
 number of dancers, particularly men, of international caliber, Recently, a group of Danish men have easily adapted their inherited Bournonville technique to the twists and speed of Balanchine choreography. Peter Martins, Adam Luders, lb Andersen, and Nikolaj Hubbe have all made great careers with New York City Ballet.

Bournonville technique has become synonymous with male dancing. He thought pointe work without context was a vulgar trick and therefore chose not to develop it. He treated men and women as equals, and women, especially jumpers, can profit from his classes.

Today's Bournonville teachers usually mix the steps from the old schools to form a class to their own liking (and with their own barre; Bournonville's is now considered too short), although the Wednesday Class, or one of the other five schools, is often taught in workshops in America and in Copenhagen, Denmark. The combinations are much longer than modern sequences, and dancing them gives a dancer stamina. They are full of jumps and small beaten steps, quick changes of direction and delicate, precise footwork. Dancers say they are fun to dance, which would please Bournonville immensely, for he thought, above all, that dancing should express joy.

Alexandra Tomalonis is editor of the quarterly publication Dance View. She is currently writing a biography of the noted Danish dancer and ballet master Henning Kronstam.
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Title Annotation:dance training styles
Author:Tomalonis, Alexandra
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 1995
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